Work of TTGearLab :
(1) The concept of blade family
(2) Designing the constructions of plywoods (using performance indices)
(3) Designing the head shape and handle shape
(4) Graphic design – Handle wood blocks, lenses and head printings
ITC is a brand established in 2015 by one of adidas distributors. Because it had been expected that adidas may quit table tennis market in near future, the distributor started to establish its own table tennis brand, and prepared for new blades and rubbers. Premier series is the first blade family announced in late 2015 after adidas quit table tennis market.
ReDATT managed all the process of the development of ITC blades. Four very unique constuctions were finally selected as the first blades, and were launched as ‘Premier’ series. Three among four were inner-fiber blades, and the other was a 5-ply wood blade.
The four blades of Premiere series are the first blades those have the graph of ‘common ratings’ provided by TTGearLab. Because original performance indices are not that intuitive, and may be difficult for customers, TTGearLab modified the indices to common ratings those are more intuitive and more understandable. The graphs of common ratings were printied on the backhand side of Premiere series. And, the same concept of graphic were applied for all ITC blades those were developed by TTGearLab.
Premier XR was developed as a blade to represent ITC. It is a 5+2 ply inner fiber blade, but it is thicker than common inner-fiber blades at that time. Eche was selected as the top layer of this blade to realize a high-class appearance and high performance at the same time. The fiber of Premier XR is the same one as that for adidas Hypertouch and RadiX series. (adidas called it as RX-Carbon. And ITC called it as RedFlex Carbon) Thanks to hard top layer and thicker construction, Premier XR was much faster than standard inner-ALC blades, and was as fast as representative outer-fiber blades at that time.
Premier XF is the slower version of Premier XR. Its construction was based on that of Premier XR. But, instead of RX-Carbon, the Texalium fiber that was the same fiber as the one used for adidas ProTex series were selected as the fiber for Premier XF. (ITC called it as BlueFlex fiber while adidas called it as BlueTex fiber.) Premier XF is slower and softer than Premier XR. But, it provided better ability of control.
Premier XC is also an inner-fiber blade. But, its top layer is Hinoki and its fiber is woven carbon fiber. So it could be considered as a kind of ‘Hinoki-Carbon’ blade. However, Premier XC provided the ability of holding ball deeper than most of common Hinoki-Carbon blades whose construction is 3+2 ply, while providing the same level of speed.
Premier XQ is a 5-ply wood blade with Hinoki top layer. It was considered as the lower speed / lower cost version of Premier XC. Among fiver layers of its construction, four layers (= top layers and middle layers) are Hinoki. To reduce the weight while keeping relatively thick construction, different wood was used for the center layer. Although Premier XQ was slower than Premier XC, it was a very fast blade as an 5-ply wood blade. It was even more elastic than more expensive Premier XF.
Following are the performance indices of Premier series :
– Ep = 1.97
– Ec = 1.93 (Ec/Ep = 0.98)
– Vp = 1.36
– Vl = 1.32 (Vl/Vp = 0.97)
– Ep = 1.74
– Ec = 1.40 (Ec/Ep = 0.81)
– Vp = 1.11
– Vl = 1.22 (Vl/Vp = 1.09)
– Ep = 2.93
– Ec = 2.51 (Ec/Ep = 0.86)
– Vp = 1.47
– Vl = 1.56 (Vl/Vp = 1.06)
– Ep = 1.85
– Ec = 1.95 (Ec/Ep = 1.06)
– Vp = 1.34
– Vl = 1.13 (Vl/Vp = 0.84)
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